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In September of 2008, Katie Couric asked Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin one of the most famous questions of the campaign. In an interview Couric asked, “When it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazine did you regularly read…?” In 2008, Katie Couric’s question to then-Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was the journalistic equivalent of the shot heard 'round the world.
Fast forward to 2014. Americans are asking Couric, who now serves as Yahoo’s Global News anchor, the same question. Where is Katie Couric getting her news?
In a 6 minute and 17 second video for Yahoo! News on the Senate Democrats’ Intelligence report on CIA interrogations, Couric does not mention a crucial fact. After failing to acknowledge that Senate Republicans put out their OWN report, Couric says, in the last 12 seconds of the piece, that Republicans “plan on releasing” their own report too.
Did Couric fail to mention the Republican report because she erroneously assumed it wasn’t out? Oddly, she refers to the report in the future tense.
Republican senators published their take on CIA interrogations on Tuesday. How could Couric miss half the story? The Yahoo! Global News anchor seems to have erroneously assumed that the Democrats’ report was the only one issued by the Senate committee. She even called the Democrats’ report “the Committee’s report.”
Just what news websites, papers and magazines is Couric reading? How could she miss one side of an important story?
Yahoo! News’ Director of Public Relations Andrew Kirk told me via email that the anchor used the term “the committee” for the Senate Democrats’ report because the Democrats are the majority party of the Senate. Kirk also said, “It was framed this way by several other publications including the New York Times.”
Ironically, Yahoo! News calls the House Republican majority report on Benghazi the “House GOP report” when referring to the majority committee’s report.
Asked why the double standard for calling the Senate Democrats’ majority reports “the Committee’s report” and the House Republicans’ majority report “the House GOP report,” Kirk didn’t have an answer.
Couric’s report for Yahoo! News also includes analysis from former Newsweek investigative reporter, now Yahoo News' chief investigative correspondent, Michael Isikoff who says “the Committee” concluded the enhanced intelligence gathering techniques “were not effective” despite the Republicans’ report which said they were effective.
Isikoff never mentions the Republicans’ report. Instead, he also seems to have assumed that the Democrats’ report is the full committee’s view. He fails to mention Republicans’ disagreement with the Democrats’ view.
In that famous interview with Palin in 2008, Couric pushes her to talk specifics about which publications she reads to get her worldview: “what ones specifically, I am curious…can you name a few…?” Couric asks.
We have to ask Couric the same question after Wednesday’s Yahoo! News report: what newspapers and magazines are you reading, Katie? You need a more well-rounded worldview if you want to report on today’s top stories.
Yahoo! News’ Kirk wouldn’t say if Couric’s error would be corrected.